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L. Fernando Gonzalez, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Pascal Jabbour, Aaron S. Dumont and Robert H. Rosenwasser

Object

Multiple approaches have been used to treat carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs). The transvenous approach has become a popular and effective route. Onyx is a valuable tool in today's endovascular armamentarium. The authors describe the use of a balloon-assisted technique in the treatment of CCFs with Onyx and assess its feasibility, utility, and safety.

Methods

The authors searched their prospectively maintained database for CCFs embolized using Onyx with the assistance of a compliant balloon placed in the internal carotid artery (ICA).

Results

Five patients were treated between July 2009 and July 2011 at the authors' institution. A balloon helped to identify the fistulous point, served as a buttress for coils, protected from inadvertent arterial embolizations, and prevented Onyx and coils from obscuring the ICA during the course of embolization. No balloon-related complications were noted in any of the 5 cases. All 5 fistulas were completely obliterated at the end of the procedure. Four patients had available clinical follow-ups, and all 4 showed reversal of nerve palsies.

Conclusions

Balloon-assisted Onyx embolization of CCFs offers a powerful combination that prevents inadvertent migration of the embolic material into the arterial system, facilitates visualization of the ICA, and serves as a buttress for coils deployed in the cavernous sinus through the fistulous point. Despite adding another layer of technical complexity, an intraarterial balloon can provide valuable assistance in the treatment of CCFs.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Aaron S. Dumont, Ciro Randazzo, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

With the widespread use of brain imaging studies, neurosurgeons have seen a marked increase in the number of incidental intracranial lesions, including vascular abnormalities. Specifically, the detection of incidentally discovered aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, cavernous angiomas, developmental venous anomalies, and capillary telangiectasias has increased. The best management strategy for most of these lesions is controversial. Treatment options include observation, open surgery, endovascular procedures, and radiosurgery. Multiple factors should be taken into account when discussing treatment indications, including the natural history of the disease and the risk of the treatment. In this article, the authors focus on the natural history of these lesions and the risk of the treatment, and they give recommendations regarding the most appropriate management strategy based on the current evidence in the literature and their experience with intracranial vascular abnormalities.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Rohan Chitale, Pascal Jabbour, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Aaron S. Dumont, Robert Rosenwasser and L. Fernando Gonzalez

Given that relatives of patients with intracranial aneurysms (IAs) or subarachnoid hemorrhage have a greater risk of harboring an aneurysm, family screening has become a common practice in neurosurgery. Unclear data exist regarding who should be screened and at what age and interval screening should occur. Multiple factors including the natural history of IAs, the risk of treatment, the cost of screening, and the psychosocial impact of finding an aneurysm should be taken into account when family screening is considered. In this paper, the authors review the current literature regarding risk factors and natural history of sporadic and familial aneurysms. Based on these data the authors assess current recommendations for screening and propose their own recommendations.

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Pascal Jabbour, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Aaron S. Dumont, Rohan Chitale, Robert Rosenwasser, Carlos G. Bianciotto and Carol Shields

Retinoblastoma is a deadly eye cancer in children, leading to death in 50%–70% of children in undeveloped nations who are diagnosed with it. This malignancy is the most common intraocular tumor in childhood worldwide. The good prognosis in developed nations is related to early detection and advanced treatments. With the advent of intraarterial chemotherapy, neurosurgeons have taken a central role in the treatment of this pediatric condition. Intraarterial chemotherapy is a novel treatment for retinoblastoma whereby chemotherapeutic agents are precisely delivered into the ophthalmic artery, minimizing systemic toxicity. This procedure has shown impressive results and has allowed a dramatic decrease in the rate of enucleation (eye removal) in advanced and refractory retinoblastoma. Recent reports have raised some concerns about the risk of ocular vasculopathy, radiation-related toxicity, and the potential for metastatic disease after intraarterial chemotherapy. In the authors' experience of more than 3 years, tumor control is excellent with globe salvage at 67% and vascular events less than 5%, mostly related to improvement in technique. The role of this novel approach in the management of retinoblastoma has yet to be defined. As more centers are adopting the technique, the topic will decidedly become the focus of intensive future research. In this paper, the authors review and discuss current data regarding intraarterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Pascal Jabbour, Robert M. Starke, Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Samantha Witte, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Aaron S. Dumont

Object

Surgical clipping of posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) aneurysms can be challenging and carries a potentially significant risk of morbidity and mortality. Experience with endovascular therapy has been limited to a few studies. The authors assess the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of endovascular therapy in the largest series of proximal and distal PICA aneurysms to date.

Methods

A total of 76 patients, 54 with proximal and 22 with distal PICA aneurysms, underwent endovascular treatment at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience between 2001 and 2011.

Results

Endovascular treatment was successful in 52 patients (96.3%) with proximal aneurysms and 19 patients (86.4%) with distal aneurysms. Treatment consisted of selective aneurysm coiling in 60 patients (84.5%) (including 4 with stent assistance and 4 with balloon assistance) and parent vessel trapping in 11 patients (15.5%). Specifically, a deconstructive procedure was necessary in 9.6% of proximal aneurysms (5 of 52) and 31.6% of distal aneurysms (6 of 19). There were 9 overall procedural complications (12.7%), 6 infarcts (8.5%; 4 occurring after deliberate occlusion of the PICA), and 3 intraprocedural ruptures (4.2%). The rate of procedure-related permanent morbidity was 2.8%. Complete aneurysm occlusion was achieved in 63.4% of patients (45 of 71). One patient (1.4%) treated with selective aneurysm coiling suffered a rehemorrhage on postoperative Day 15. The mean angiographic follow-up time was 17.2 months. Recurrence and re-treatment rates were, respectively, 20% and 17.1% for proximal aneurysms compared with 30.8% and 23.1% for distal aneurysms. Favorable outcomes (moderate, mild, or no disability) at follow-up were seen in 93% of patients with unruptured aneurysms and in 78.7% of those with ruptured aneurysms.

Conclusions

Endovascular therapy is a feasible, safe, and effective treatment in patients with proximal and distal PICA aneurysms, providing excellent patient outcomes and adequate protection against rehemorrhage. The long-term incidence of aneurysm recanalization appears to be high, especially in distal aneurysms, and requires careful angiographic follow-up.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Aaron S. Dumont, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Jurij R. Bilyk, Ciro Randazzo, David Hasan, Richard T. Dalyai, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

Object

Endovascular therapy is the primary treatment option for carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs). Operative cannulation of the superior ophthalmic vein (SOV) provides a reasonable alternative route to the cavernous sinus when all transvenous and transarterial approaches have been unsuccessful. The role of the liquid embolic agent Onyx in the management of CCFs has not been well documented, especially when using an SOV approach. The purpose of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy of Onyx embolization of CCFs through a surgical cannulation of the SOV.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed all patients with CCFs who were treated with Onyx through an SOV approach between April 2009 and April 2011. Traditional endovascular approaches had failed in all patients.

Results

A total of 10 patients were identified, 1 with a Type A CCF, 5 with a Type B CCF, and 4 with a Type D CCF. All fistulas were embolized in 1 session. Onyx was the sole embolic agent used in 7 cases and was combined with coils in 3 other cases. Complete obliteration was achieved in 8 patients and a significant reduction in fistulous flow was achieved in 2 patients, which later progressed to near-complete occlusion on angiographic follow-up. All patients experienced a complete clinical recovery with excellent cosmetic results and were free from recurrence at their latest clinical follow-up evaluations.

Conclusions

Onyx embolization is an excellent therapy for CCFs in general, and through an SOV approach in particular. Direct operative cannulation of the SOV followed by Onyx embolization may be the best treatment option in patients with CCFs when all other endovascular approaches have been exhausted.

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Richard T. Dalyai, George Ghobrial, Issam Awad, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Aaron S. Dumont, Nohra Chalouhi, Ciro Randazzo, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

Cavernous malformations (CMs) are angiographically occult vascular malformations that are frequently found incidentally on MR imaging. Despite this benign presentation, these lesions could cause symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, seizures, and focal neurological deficits. Cavernomas can be managed conservatively with neuroimaging studies, surgically with lesion removal, or with radiosurgery. Considering recent studies examining the CM's natural history, imaging techniques, and possible therapeutic interventions, the authors provide a concise review of the literature and discuss the optimal management of incidental CMs.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Cory D. Bovenzi, Vismay Thakkar, Jeremy Dressler, Pascal Jabbour, Robert M. Starke, Sonia Teufack, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Richard Dalyai, Aaron S. Dumont, Robert Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris

Object

Aneurysm recurrence after coil therapy remains a major shortcoming in the endovascular management of cerebral aneurysms. The need for long-term imaging follow-up was recently investigated. This study assessed the diagnostic yield of long-term digital subtraction angiography (DSA) follow-up and determined predictors of delayed aneurysm recurrence and retreatment.

Methods

Inclusion criteria were as follows: 1) available short-term and long-term (> 36 months) follow-up DSA images, and 2) no or only minor aneurysm recurrence (not requiring further intervention, i.e., < 20%) documented on short-term follow-up DSA images.

Results

Of 209 patients included in the study, 88 (42%) presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. On shortterm follow-up DSA images, 158 (75%) aneurysms showed no recurrence, and 51 (25%) showed minor recurrence (< 20%, not retreated). On long-term follow-up DSA images, 124 (59%) aneurysms showed no recurrence, and 85 (41%) aneurysms showed recurrence, of which 55 (26%) required retreatment. In multivariate analysis, the predictors of recurrence on long-term follow-up DSA images were as follows: 1) larger aneurysm size (p = 0.001), 2) male sex (p = 0.006), 3) conventional coil therapy (p = 0.05), 4) aneurysm location (p = 0.01), and 5) a minor recurrence on short-term follow-up DSA images (p = 0.007). Ruptured aneurysm status was not a predictive factor. The sensitivity of short-term follow-up DSA studies was only 40.0% for detecting delayed aneurysm recurrence and 45.5% for detecting delayed recurrence requiring further treatment.

Conclusions

The results of this study highlight the importance of long-term angiographic follow-up after coil therapy for ruptured and unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Predictors of delayed recurrence and retreatment include large aneurysms, recurrence on short-term follow-up DSA images (even minor), male sex, and conventional coil therapy.

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Ana Rodríguez-Hernández, Ahmed J. Awad and Michael T. Lawton